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CR’s Top SUVs Without Deal-Breaking Flaws - 4 New Subaru Models Now Score Best

How do the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek, 2023 Forester, 2023 Outback, and 2023 Ascent score in quietness, visibility, easy-to-use controls, and rear-seat comfort? See why Consumer Reports says you won't regret buying any of the four new Subaru SUVs.


Have you ever bought something and then had buyer's remorse? An updated study from Consumer Reports (by subscription) ranks the 2023 model year SUVs that are the best for new-car shoppers and says their top picks are SUVs "without deal-breaking flaws and that you won't regret buying." The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek subcompact SUV, 2023 Forester compact SUV, 2023 Outback midsize SUV, and 2023 Ascent 3-Row SUV score best or among the best in their category.

Here's why they are the best new SUVs for commuters. Only some people think of how well you can see from the driver's seat, how easy it is to use the controls, rear-seat comfort, and cabin quietness when testing a new vehicle. But outward visibility, easy-to-use controls, rear-seat comfort, and a quiet cabin are important for SUV buyers once they have to live with the new model every day.

2023 Subaru Crosstrek

The Best Usability and Controls

The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek is ranked the best in the subcompact SUV category. The other top picks are the Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Traverse. Check out the 2023 Crosstrek pricing, features, and model guide here.

CR says, "The Crosstrek's controls are mostly logical and well-placed. For example, the center control area has two screens; the lower one is for the infotainment system, and the one mounted on the top of the dash displays vehicle data. In addition, the standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are appreciated, making the already easy-to-use infotainment system even better."

Where can the Crosstrek improve?

CR says, "It's annoying that the climate control's temperature display disappears a few seconds after the driver adjusts it. There's also a multifunction display in the center of the instrument cluster. It displays fuel economy and vehicle trip information but can be fussy about toggling through."

2023 Subaru Forester

Forester and Ascent score high

The 2023 Subaru Forester and 2023 Subaru Ascent were among the best in usability and controls. The Forester in the compact SUV category and the Ascent scored high in the midsize SUV category.

The Best Visibility

The 2023 Subaru Forester and Outback are the only SUVs ranked with the best visibility in their category. The 2023 Forester is the best in the compact SUV segment, and the 2023 Outback is the best in the midsize SUV category.

2023 Subaru Forester

CR says, "The Forester may look like a box on wheels, but that shape gives it several advantages: good headroom, plenty of cargo room, and incredible visibility. It has one of the best outward views of any vehicle we've tested. Every roof pillar is slim, and the windshield and side glass are large."

Where can Forester improve?

CR says, "The side mirrors sit low, so it's easy to see pedestrians and cars at intersections. The rear window is also large, but head restraints can block the view somewhat."

2023 Subaru Outback

2023 Subaru Outback

CR says, "The Outback delivers one of the airiest outward views of any vehicle on the market. It starts with the SUV-like raised ride height and slightly elevated seating position, contributing to the great view out over the hood. The slim pillars and long tall side windows give the Outback excellent outward visibility."

CR has nothing but good to say about the Outback. CR says, "Other helpful elements include the front triangle windows, which make it easier for the driver to see around the side mirrors to spot vehicles or pedestrians at intersections, along with a huge third side window to alleviate rear three-quarter blind spots. And last, the rear window is quite large."

2023 Subaru Ascent

The Best Rear-Seat Comfort

The 2023 Subaru Forester, 2023 Subaru Outback, and 2023 Subaru Ascent also score among the best in rear-seat comfort. The Forester in the compact SUV class, the Outback in the midsize 2-Row SUV category, and Ascent in the midsize 3-Row SUV category.

Cabin Quietness

Consumer Reports says the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid scores best in the Compact SUV segment, and Kia Telluride is best among midsize SUVs.

The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek subcompact SUV, 2023 Subaru Forester Compact SUV, 2023 Subaru Outback midsize SUV, and 2023 Subaru Ascent 3-Row SUV score highest in many Consumer Reports' latest evaluations. CR says the four SUVs don't have any of the four significant deal-breaking flaws that make a buyer regret a purchase.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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